For many musicians, the art of becoming great starts at a young age. Whether you grew up singing in the church choir or the school band, the development as an artist learns their craft can build a solid foundation for years to come. For Grammy winning songwriter and producer Rio Bridges, that foundation was solidified with years of hard work, family support, and an amazing ear for creating great music. With all of his major accomplishments, Bridges still has his sights set on even bigger creations.
You’re an entrepreneur, where did that mindset come from growing up?
I would have to say my parents…Growing up, my mom, who didn’t graduate from high school, was struggling to keep a job working for others. So, at a young age she picked up doing hair and becoming a hair-stylist. She worked out of the house for many years running her own business. Afterwards my mom & dad opened a soul food restaurant in northside Richmond, VA; it was take out only, but it did very well. Seeing them work hard had a huge influence on my life.
What advice do you have for future entrepreneurs out there?
Trust The Process and do not be anxious for nothing. Do not be afraid to take that leap of Faith when starting your own business. Stay consistent with your work and do not go over any budget that you have laid out to run your business. Study and constantly find ways to keep your business growing. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and again, TRUST THE PROCESS.
Growing up what type of music did you listen to?
My Dad had a band that did pretty well and they performed cover songs the majority of the time; on top of that, my Dad has a collection of albums. He was literally teaching me to learn melodies and music at a young age and I didn’t even know it.
Marvin Gaye, Cameo, Delfonics, Isely Brothers, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson… However my IDOL was Babyface; he’s the reason that I started getting into songwriting and not just producing music.
When did you discover you had the talent to write and create music?
When I was 6 years old I would collect cereal boxes and make them into a drum set. My family knew never to throw away the cereal boxes because I was making my drum set! I think when I was 16 I really knew that I had it and what I wanted to do. I was pretty good at sports as well, and I said I would either do music or play sports but GOD made that choice a lot easier for me when I didn’t get any taller than 5’11.
Who would you say are your musical influencers ?
Babyface, Gerad Thomas, My Dad, D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq, & Manny Fresh…
Who is Rio Bridges and what motivates him?
A man of GOD first, a Father, and a person who loves to inspire and encourage others to live in happiness and enjoy the simple things in life. I am an entrepreneur, and also a 2x Grammy winning producer/songwriter. I believe in the process and I believe that with GOD any and everything is possible. What motivates me is completing my goals that GOD has put before me. This is all about helping the world in the most positive way possible.
I see you won 2 Grammys and was nominated 4 times along with having a billboard number 1 song, What songs were they for and can you describe that feeling?
Ashanti & Cardi B (Winners), Bj The Chicago Kid (2 Nominations), Tim Bowman Jr (2 Nominations); Ashanti – Movies, Cardi B – Ring, Bj The Chicago Kid – Church and Wait Til The Morning, Tim Bowman JR ( Always on Time and Strength).
The feeling is rewarding and yet, at the same time, I always have that same feeling of “What’s next” lol.
Give us a few names of artists that you worked with?
Jill Scott, Ashanti, Diddy K.Michelle, Leela James, BAAUER, Afro Jack, Leikeli47, Gucci Mane, Paula Abdul, Tyrese, and many more.
Are there any specific artists that you are working with right now that you feel is about to break through ?
Yes, absolutely. Gabrielle Lynn is my priority, and I truly believe that she has the potential to break through. We are currently working on her EP now, which is almost done.
How can people stay connected with you to continue to follow your journey?
Social media is the easiest way: Instagram – @riotheyneedahit, Facebook – RioTheyNeedaHit, Twitter – RioTheyNeedaHit.